Fit for Recovery

Today I want to share my crossfit experience with ya’ll. I’ll try to leave out the dirty details: calloused hands, bruised collarbone, sweaty everything!!! In all seriousness though, it’s the atmosphere at my gym that motivates me to roll out of bed at 8am and suit up in Redline clothes (crossfit brand clothing). I won’t go into too much detail but I’ve recently been fighting through my recovery from my addiction to smoking (so far I’m 4 months sober and proud of it!)  and crossfit has been nothing but encouraging and motivating for me.

crossfit-photo

For those of you who don’t know much about crossfit I’ll give you a quick rundown of what goes down at my gym. First, we go over the WOD (an anagram for workout of the day), we warm up with a few easy movements like air squats or pushups or sit ups, we stretch out, we go over the movements in our workout and warm up those skills, and then we tackle the WOD!!  For more information you can checkout my gym’s website: crossfittheswamp.com.

Frankly, crossfit has done wonders for me and for my recovery. I am able to start my day by being social and connecting with people I’ve met at the gym- no matter our age difference! I get to stretch- something I’ve always dreading doing- which my muscles definitely appreciate. And I’m able to workout with amazing, talented, strong people who lift my spirits and cheer each other on through WOD. Lastly, the coaches are funny, fierce and motivational. It’s never a hassle to modify a workout if you have an injury or you are new to crossfit itself and the coaching of the movements is spot on!  Whether the workout is 3 minutes or 20 minutes, I always leave crossfit feeling refreshed, energized and happy.

 

 

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The Battle 

I am preparing for battle; wishing for armor to suit up in. If I had a shield I could defend myself from her brutal force. If I had a sword, I could threaten to strike her down, maybe even win. If I had armor and backup and weapons; maybe I could also possess courage.
 
 Instead, I’m walking into this war zone empty handed. The only weapons I possess are words.
 
She’s patient while I’m anxious. She’s watchful while I’m transparent. She likes to make deals and somehow I’m always tempted to give in. She’s trustworthy until she’s not.
 
I don’t feel like a soldier, not when the real war is in my mind. The funny thing about this combat is that you don’t know its time to fight until you’ve already been wounded.
 
On the battleground, she has weapons. A mirror a scale a measuring tape. I’m forced to look; to compare the skin I’m in to the perfect body I could possess. Her favorite forms of torture: starvation, exercise, purging. Shattering the mind before damaging the body. It’s exhausting, it’s freezing,, it’s worth it. (that’s what she tells me: it’s worth it). Sometimes, all I can see is the flesh in the mirror. Sometimes accomplishment only feels like a-lower-number-on-the-scale. Sometimes I give in.
 
But sometimes I stand up. 

A poem for your thoughts.

Anxiety
A seed hides in the crevice of the brain. 
your not good enough, your not good enough, your not good enough 
it whispers. 
The seed can grow with water,
insults, insults, insults
It begins to speak. 

Now a believable sapling,
your wrong they’re right, your wrong they’re right, your wrong they’re right 
It yells, it interrupts.

A sapling is desperate to thrive, 
two against one, two against one, two against one 
It feeds on fear. 


There is a tree in my brain.
cut it down, cut it down, cut it down
I have to warn everyone. 

 Bullying comes in all forms, 
Never be afraid to stop it. 

On Heartbreak & Healing

I know you’re sad, I feel it too. As if the galaxy left us with nothing but the moon. The only constellations I can remember were in his eyes, when he looked at me. But I try not to remember, sometimes his pupils tried to tell me he was addicted, I ignored it. Let me tell you, love, he’s not it. He is not the galaxy when suns burn in your irises. His bones aren’t as fragile as yours; they don’t have words carved into them like the tree in your backyard. Don’t carve them there love, they don’t belong. His hands only made you recoil after that January, you thought he was a furnace but honey your forgetting how he burned you alive. Don’t you remember in August when you kept cutting your hair, trying to get rid of yourself?

Your mother didn’t raise you for this; she baked homemade bread to warm the house with love. She also cooked you up in her stomach for months, darling, you held tight to her pinky and I don’t remember her ever letting go.

I know you’re sad. I know its cold and brittle and January makes your spine quiver. I lay in bed at 2pm, shutting the blinds because I want to delete the world sometimes too. Letting go is a funny thing, you see when I let go, my mom knew I was ready to walk out into the world. Those first steps were brilliant, relief from fear, headlights to freedom.

My dad taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. He held on to the back seat and I screamed, “Daddy don’t let go!” It was a hoax really, because we all know he was going to. But he told me he wouldn’t. I went squealing down the track in triumph, like the world was under my feet and I was right on top. The bones on my bike broke, and the skin of my mouth cracked; we both smiled. That was the first time a man ever lied to me.

I feel it too. Holes in my skin, holes in my sweater; I’m avoiding it. Stitching it back up would disprove my denial; I don’t want patches or Band-Aids because they don’t hold. We fall down, we open scabs and the holes rip open again. I looked back at him, before I fell; I looked back. He drove away and I looked back, because instead of scabbing my knee, there was a hole tearing into the skin of my heart.

I know it’s sad, I know you cried each night he was gone. But darling leave the scissors there; your mother loves your golden brown hair. She’s the one who sends you care packages on the weekends, because she feels it too, when you’re sad. Her skin itches and breaks because mothers know, they just know. She bakes bread on Wednesdays when she misses you, tucking the warmth into her house, your house. Dad eats it at night so he can fill his house with warm-heartedness and Mom wraps in it tinfoil so when it comes in the mail, you can still feel its warmth.

I know you’re sad, I feel it too. There’s an imprint in the mattress from where he used to lay down and fill up your eyes with stars. Love, he’s not the sand man; I know you stay there too long, on the mattress; your tea gets cold while you’re still trying to trace his lips on your mouth. You won’t find him there, just the remnants of cracked lips and the warmth will be gone.

Don’t worry though, mom will keep making bread and sending you her love through the oven. You burned through her belly and she always knew the galaxy was there, on the soles of your feet. Don’t stop running darling, keep moving forward, stamp every place with the stars on your toes.

I promise when he comes along, he’ll tell you about the stars. Orion’s belt and Saturn’s rings. I promise your tea will always be warm and he’ll help you understand the words on your spine. He’ll like your mother’s bread almost as much as you do and you can lay in the bed of his truck instead of on the mattress while the warmth fills your bellies.

My Dad told me the sky goes on forever- I think he was right.

All my love & support,

-Jen

 

 

Feeding My Soul (the beginning of the end).

When people hear the word “disorder” they often associate it with the words, “crazy” or “mental” or my personal favorite, “mad.” My first thoughts about this concept were always well maybe thats me, maybe I’m just a mad girl in this mad world. But today, today I want to put a halt to those negative thoughts, jam a door stop in my mind and leave a little room for positivity. First thought, here is a little bit of background if you do not know my story….

For as long as I can remember- I’ve hated my body. I can’t remember the first time i ever felt “fat” but I can remember when I recognized the meaning of the word, and how I connected it to myself. At the age of 12, I came to the realization that clothes didn’t fit me the way that they fit all the “pretty” “popular” girls at school, at the time I instantly felt ashamed and labeled myself as fat. But here’s one of the things I didn’t know- it wasn’t because I was fat, it was because my body stored fat around my stomach area instead of distributing it evenly, it was because I didn’t have a rocketing metabolism, and because all bodies are different! Unfortunately, I was young and naive, and vulnerable… which is what made it so easy for my eating disorder to step in and take over.

Over the years my weight fluctuated, I was yoyo dieting, I was binging and purging (making myself sick), I was restricting my calorie intake so minimally that I had to take a break from running because my disorder was causing me chest pains and shortness of breath. Admittedly, I was destroying my body because I thought I deserved it. Because I fully, truly believed that thin equaled pretty, and pretty was the goal. I thought: If I’m pretty and thin, everyone will love me. if i’m pretty and thin, everything will fall into place. But I was wrong.

We do not have to fit into size zero jeans in order to feel pretty, pardon my language but, fuck societies standards of beauty! Lets make our own beautiful, lets let our hair down and laugh and be ourselves without hesitation- because thats real beauty. I want to tell you all that it’s okay to let yourself be who you are, it’s okay to embrace your body and your curves- and do it with a high head and a smile! We shouldn’t have to feel the need to cover up in baggy pants or big sweatshirts because we are not rim rod thin- its just not fair to your body. I wouldn’t want any of you to feel ashamed of your bodies ever, so why should i continue to shame my own? I shouldn’t; and learning to love myself and my body is the first step in the right direction.

Trying to make myself smaller is exhausting. That’s why I titled this blog “making room for me” because for as long as I remember I was putting other people first. Growing up, I always just followed the crowd, I never made confident decisions for myself, and now, Anorexia wants to crowd my life. Today I’m saying no, today I’m pushing my eating disorder away and voting yes for recovery (and you should too!)  Recovery is a slow process but I’m approaching it with my head high and making room for it.

keep feeding your soul and yourself!

all my love & support,

Jen